Tag Archives: power

Does power corrupt?


imagephilosophy-of-praxis replied to your post: Revolutionaries have the potential to…

I’m not entirely comfortable with the power corrupting paradigm, but the former is certainly true.

I couldn’t come up with a better idea for “corruption” but one of containment/control? Not too sure, but I agree with you with the usage here, my mistake.

I was, coincidentally, thinking about the “power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely” truism earlier. I came to the conclusion (albeit after two minutes of musing rather than deep philosophical exercise) that what’s happening is more of a:

Power (economic/social/political influence) accumulated creates the desire to be preserved (that such power be maintained). The more power accumulated then the more dispossessed of power. The more you dispossess of power (through accumulation) then the more power (power can only exist through its exercise or crystalisation?) that is needed to preserve the accumulated power (through dispossessing others of power their desire to preserve power is breached).

Which I’m still not entirely comfortable with. The whole power usage itself feels a little abstract, but less abstract than “corruption” in the context. Also need to get around to reading Foucault on biopower.

It isn’t a very catchy slogan either.

To resort to the concept of cultural hegemony is to take a banal question-“who has power?”-and deepen it at both ends. The “who” includes parents, preachers, teachers, journalists, literati, “experts” of all sorts, as well as advertising executives, entertainment promoters, popular musicians, sports figures, and “celebrities”-all of whom are involved (albeit often unwittingly) in shaping the values and attitudes of a society. The “power” includes cultural as well as economic and political power-the power to help define the boundaries of common-sense “reality” either by ignoring views outside those boundaries or by labeling deviant opinions “tasteless” or “irresponsible.

The Concept of Cultural Hegemony: Problems and Possibilities

T. J. Jackson Lears

(via newwavefeminism)